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Old 09-04-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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Tread wear

So I just purchased a used 2003 Wrangler today. It has 33 inch BFGoodrich AT tires on it. The back two are wearing faster on the inside of the tire. It has a 8.8 in the rear. I am wondering where to start as far as figuring out how to correct it before the tires are ruined. I will get some pictures up tomorrow. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
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Are you sure the excess wear occurred when the tires were on the back. If the wear was there on a new purchase perhaps the tires were up front when the wear happened and then the previous owner swapped front to back.

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:52 AM   #3
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Are you sure the excess wear occurred when the tires were on the back. If the wear was there on a new purchase perhaps the tires were up front when the wear happened and then the previous owner swapped front to back.
Good point, I don't know. If it was the front would an alignment fix that?
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:02 AM   #4
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Good point, I don't know. If it was the front would an alignment fix that?
Probably not, unless it was towed out (which is doubtful), but an alignment would help you diagnose the problem. You may need ball joints in the front, or have a bent axle in the back. The camber numbers from an alignment would let you know which end was the problem.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:30 AM   #5
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Good point, I don't know. If it was the front would an alignment fix that?
The usual cause of that type of tire wear is improper toe-in which can be corrected during an alignment. I also suspect the rear tires that are worn were probably up front at some point.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #6
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I am also getting crazy death wobble when I hit a decent bump/pot hole on the highway. I guess I will take it to my mechanic and have him look over the whole front end???
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:17 PM   #7
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I had perfect alignment. Death wobble is a harmonic balance In jeeps. Saying it because it can be helped but never fixed where most threads say opposite. My steering stabilizer leaked out all the oil. Teraflex brand. I like my lift that thing sucks do not recommend. Put on an OME steering stabilizer I am back to 0 death wobble. (Old man emu) it got scary when the oil leaked out if my stabilizer. It is just a resonance the stabilizer concours. You can make it worse no doubt. But it happens on stock jeeps with bad steering stabilizers. So don't buy the its just a cover up for the stabilizer. It can allow it. On a stock Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee XJ.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:10 AM   #8
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I had perfect alignment. Death wobble is a harmonic balance In jeeps. Saying it because it can be helped but never fixed where most threads say opposite. My steering stabilizer leaked out all the oil. Teraflex brand. I like my lift that thing sucks do not recommend. Put on an OME steering stabilizer I am back to 0 death wobble. (Old man emu) it got scary when the oil leaked out if my stabilizer. It is just a resonance the stabilizer concours. You can make it worse no doubt. But it happens on stock jeeps with bad steering stabilizers. So don't buy the its just a cover up for the stabilizer. It can allow it. On a stock Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee XJ.
I have an OME steering stabilizer. How do I tell if it needs to be replaced?
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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I have an OME steering stabilizer. How do I tell if it needs to be replaced?
Remove one end and push-pull on it to make sure it resists substantially and equally in both directions. It is really nothing but a shock absorber.

I have to head off to work now but I'll come back tonight and post up some comments on Death Wobble and steering dampers (stablizers).
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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There are a whole lot of well-intentioned people on the forums who think that installing a new steering damper (stabilizer) is the cure for or preventer of Death Wobble. Installing a new steering damper (the correct term for the device) to cure DW is like placing a band-aid on a Melanoma skin cancer to cure it. All doing either does is to mask the problem until it flares up again after the band-aid falls off or the steering damper could no longer keep the DW problem suppressed... like a guy holding a gorilla down. Eventually you're going to get tired and the gorilla's going to get up and do its thing once you become weak enough so you can no longer hold him down.

A TJ in good condition with well balanced tires will not experience DW even when there is no steering damper. If something goes bad, like a tire goes out of balance, a ball joint gets loose, the track bar is loose, etc., then you can get DW... a steering damper can suppress the symptoms if they're minor but if they're bad enough, not even a brand-new heavy-duty steering damper can prevent or stop DW. So the presence or absence of a steering damper doesn't cause or cure DW, it can only kinda-sorta suppresses the symptoms but the underlying root-cause problem is still there. Not having a steering damper does NOT cause DW... there is always something else that is the root cause. And it's typically a combination of items that cause DW... like an imperfectly balanced tire and a loose track bar etc.

But to claim a new steering damper/stabilizer is a cure for DW? Nope, it's never the cure... it's only a temporary band-aid suppressing the symptoms until they become strong enough to overpower the steering damper, or the steering damper wears enough that it can no longer suppress the still-present root cause of DW that hasn't yet been figured out and fixed.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:01 PM   #11
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Thanks Jerry. I went and talked to a guy that my buddy told me about, he owns his own shop. He told me the same this. He is going to put on his custom steering and fix the problem for me!!
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #12
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In addition to your buddy working on your steering, have your tires 'perfectly' balanced. Many shops only take the time to get them to what they consider as "good enough" tire balance which for a TJ, isn't good enough.

Finally, don't let your buddy change your steering to something exotic like a high-steer system which just causes other problems. Stick with the stock TJ steering geometry and life will be good. Currie's heavy-duty Currectlync steering system is extremely highly regarded by experienced offroaders, you can see it at CURRIE CE-9701 CURRECTLYNC® - HD TIE ROD SYSTEM - Savvy Off Road Aluminum. It's not cheap but it's relatively bulletproof, bolts right in, and doesn't cause any steering problem since it retains the TJ's excellent steering geometry. I've run that kit for 12-14 years on two different TJs and would never run anything else for what I do offroad.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:39 AM   #13
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What is a high steering system? He recommended moving the track bar mount on top of the axel so it is parallel with the drag link.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:01 AM   #14
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What is a high steering system? He recommended moving the track bar mount on top of the axle so it is parallel with the drag link.
I'd steer clear of his steering system or that kind of modification, whatever it is. It's just going to screw up the geometry which will cause problems like bump steer, even though you do want to keep the track bar and drag link parallel. What is unparallel about your current steering system? Did someone screw up and install a dropped Pitman arm?

The best thing I can recommend for steering is to insure you're running the factory non-dropped Pitman arm and go with a high quality steering system like Currie's as recommended above. It doesn't change the geometry and it won't cause problems. What it will do is beef up your steering system dramatically so it won't be the cause of future problems.

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